From a model aircraft enthusiast club to a private aircraft plant: the history of cooperation between Lindström and AeroVolga
AeroVolga Scientific and Manufacturing Association based in Samara region is known almost worldwide as a place where small aircraft are developed, manufactured, and tested. AeroVolga manufactures the most well-known Russian amphibious aircraft: eight-seater LA-8 and two-seater Borey. Recently, AeroVolga crew used them in “The North Is Yours” International Arctic Expedition.
Lindström has been in charge of AeroVolga employees’ safety and appearance since 2013, as 65 people use Lindström workwear every day. In 2017, cooperation between the two companies expanded, and now Lindström is providing not only workwear but also stain-resistant and ergonomic mats.
Reaching a new level
“In the present-day site of a modern aircraft plant, there used to be a wagon in the open, where amateur aircraft modelers would spend many hours designing something,” says Efim Knyazev, Health, and Safety Officer and Chief Mechanical Engineer at AeroVolga. “In 2002, the first L6 Flagman aircraft was manufactured, and it became clear that the initiative should be further developed. Thus, AeroVolga Scientific and Manufacturing Association was established on the basis of the creative team of aircraft builders.
For a long time, AeroVolga employees had to provide themselves with workwear, buying the most suitable uniform for half a year, washing it at home, and fixing it all by themselves. Production was growing, and so were AeroVolgа’s ambitions, as the Russian scientific and manufacturing association entered the international market. Potential customers and partners from other countries often visited the plant, while journalists made recordings and discussed AeroVolga’s unique developments.
The new status made AeroVolga management consider acquiring professional workwear: the top management regarded it essential for the employees to look respectable and feel safe in the workplace. So, a new idea has started up to find a contractor capable of providing a full cycle of workwear maintenance. And Lindström turned out to be the only company in Samara to offer reliable services of high quality.
No frills at the plant
According to AeroVolga’s Chief Designer, Dmitry Suslakov, special requirements apply to workwear at an aircraft plant: because of the large difference in temperatures on the premises, it must be suitable for all purposes and functional. In addition, it is very important that nothing should stick out: buttons, pocket flaps, and many other common workwear elements are prohibited here. This is because such workwear elements can grapple on and damage an aircraft body or part, which can later affect its performance.
Carpets are necessary for keeping the workplace clean. The plant is located in the field, and its workers quite often go out to the runway, where planes are. Any speck of dust brought from the outside can get, for example, to an aircraft wing while it’s being painted. In such cases, it needs to be re-cleaned and repainted, all of which require extra time and costs.
You don’t have to think about your appearance anymore
Alexander Mukhutdinov, Aircraft Production Manager at AeroVolga, has been working for the company for 14 years. He is responsible for planning all stages, from aircraft design to assembly.
“After Lindström came along, I don’t have to think how I look anymore, and I can focus on my core work responsibilities,” he says. “I like the choice Lindström offers: I can choose to wear trousers or overalls. I am completely satisfied with the workwear design.”
“We are happy that Lindström is responsible for the workwear maintenance. Throughout our cooperation time, we haven’t had a single complaint: all clothes are clean, continuously changed and repaired. I tell other market players about it: I say that Lindström does a very good job. And if they answer that it is expensive, the argument here is simple: just weigh your costs against the benefits you get from qualified service. The benefits outweigh the costs,” sums up Efim Knyazev.